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Good Times 

A poor African-American family make the best of things in the Chicago housing projects.
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Popularity
959 ( 44)

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Episodes

Seasons


Years



6   5   4   3   2   1  
1979   1978   1977   1976   1975   1974  
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Ja'net DuBois ...  Willona Woods 133 episodes, 1974-1979
Ralph Carter ...  Michael Evans 133 episodes, 1974-1979
BernNadette Stanis ...  Thelma Evans / ... 133 episodes, 1974-1979
Jimmie Walker ...  James 'J.J.' Evans, Jr. 133 episodes, 1974-1979
Esther Rolle ...  Florida Evans 109 episodes, 1974-1979
John Amos ...  James Evans, Sr. 61 episodes, 1974-1976
Johnny Brown ...  Nathan Bookman 58 episodes, 1975-1979
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Storyline

Life in the Chicago projects is never easy, However, the Evans family never gives up trying to make the best of things. While Florida and James struggle to provide for their family, their sons J.J., an aspiring painter, Micheal, the undying political crusader, causing trouble while their sister, Thelma, stands between them as the voice of reason. Living in the same building were Willona Woods, Florida's best friend from High School who provided support, love and gossip and Nathan Bookman, the overweight janitor who gave them grief and was the butt of alot of fat jokes, especially Willona who often referred to him as Buffalo Butt or Booger. Life, at least, is never boring while they fight to keep their heads above water and one day leave the projects, which they did in the series finale. Sadly, it was without James who was killed off in the 4th season. Written by Kate Tripper

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Great Day See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tandem Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(133 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the writers provided the show's storylines, dialogue was usually a collaboration between writers and cast. During table reads of scripts, the cast would review the draft dialogue and "darken it up", as they recalled later. See more »

Goofs

The front door of the Evans apartment is seemingly never locked. People just walk in without knocking. See more »

Quotes

J.J.: Here's the way it comes down, Michael. The alleged mama, took her alleged fist, and hit the little kid's alleged back, and left a mess of alleged bruises, that were legally clear.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beastie Boys: Video Anthology (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great show early ...but suffered a decline in quality in later seasons
31 July 2005 | by steve-575See all my reviews

When "Good Times" premiered in 1974, it was one the first black family sitcoms. It centered on the poor Chicago-based Evans family and their struggles to make ends meet. Most of the early episodes focused on the parents, James and Florida Evans, and their struggle to provide for the family. John Amos and Esther Rolle were the best part of the show. They were terrific actors and had great chemistry as James and Florida Evans. They had three kids: J.J., Thelma, and Michael. J.J. was the skirt-chasing but well-meaning teenage son who made up for his lack of subtlety with artistic talent. Thelma was an attractive, bright girl who was constantly trading insults with J.J. Michael was a near child prodigy who was well-educated on social issues and was destined to become a lawyer.

In 1976, the producers made a huge mistake by firing John Amos, literally killing off his character. This really changed the focus, and not for the good I might add. The shows began to focus more on J.J. and his buffoon-like behavior which angered black viewers as well as series star Esther Rolle, who left after the next season. Instead of a show that focused on key African-American issues that existed in society at the time, viewers got shows that were overloaded with skirt chasing and fat jokes.

Once Esther Rolle left, the quality of the show suffered even more. Although it was still watchable, it was no longer the great ground-breaking show that it once was.

Although Esther Rolle came back for the 1978 season, it became obvious that the show was on its last legs. All loose ends were tied up during that season and the show quietly faded off the air.

First three season: A. Last three seasons: C+.


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